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Gift tax to be levied on remittances sent overseas

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Those who remit their deposits out of their bank accounts in Taiwan to overseas accounts of their children or relatives should have their remittances subject to a gift tax, according to the Taipei National Tax Administration (TNTA).

Based on the Inheritance and Gift Tax Act, the recognition of properties, including cash and real estate, subject to inheritance or gift tax by the government here is based on the location of the properties. If the properties are located in the nation, including deposits at banks in Taiwan, they should face gift tax if given away to others, TNTA officials said.

The TNTA yesterday publicized a case occurring in 2003 to illustrate the situation. The center of the case was that of a man who holds dual nationality and has long lived abroad, remitting his deposits placed at banks in Taiwan to the overseas accounts of his children. Such remittances were ruled by the TNTA to be eligible for taxation.

The man argued that he just lent, instead of giving away, to his children in the U.S., and that after the money was remitted to bank accounts in the U.S., it can't be regarded as his asset in Taiwan.

But TNTA officials said that the deposits remitted abroad were originally placed by the man at a commercial bank in Taiwan, and therefore should be regarded as the man's property in the nation and should be subject to gift tax unless the man can offer evidence to prove that the money was not given away.

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